Finding the best graphics card no longer means looking straight to an Nvidia GeForce without a second thought. In fact, in 2020, AMD has a lot to offer on the GPU front. With the full range of AMD’s Navi GPUs now being released, and with this lineup including competitors to Nvidia’s RTX 2060 Super and RTX 2070 Super, it’s not so easy to pick a winning team in the Nvidia vs. AMD battle.
On the budget end, there are plenty of relatively inexpensive graphics cards available in 2020 to keep your gaming setup ticking over nicely. Whether you want to keep it truly cheap and cheerful and get an AMD Radeon RX 570 for the sole purpose playing League of Legends or CS:GO, or spend a little extra on an Nvidia GTX 1660 Super to hit 60fps at 1080p in Call of Duty: Warzone, there are some great budget graphics card options at the moment.
If you have no reservations about money, however, there are treats indeed for you. The RTX 2080 Ti is the fastest consumer graphics card on the planet, and still rocking a four-figure price tag, and there’s also the Nvidia RTX 2080 Super ready to bring you its best for a little less. Oh and there’s that Titan RTX, too – the Great Dreamer.
Here are the best graphics cards for gaming:
The best graphics card is AMD’s RX 5700 XT.
Thanks to a rapid pre-launch price cut, AMD has created a monster of a GPU in the RX 5700 XT. It’s a great card, that’s only just shy of the RTX 2070 Super’s gaming performance, but with a fair bit of a saving on the reference card MSRP. The GeForce GPU has a little more to offer, but it’s tight, and the RX 5700 XT is a fair bit cheaper.
The impressive thing is that we’re getting dangerously close to high-end GPU territory here, and AMD is actually seriously competitive with the GeForce gang. If only the reference card didn’t get so hot and so loud – still, that’s what AIB models with improved cooling are there for.
What we like…
Not far off RTX 2070 Super performance
Cheaper than RTX 2070 Super
Doubles as a radiator
|AMD RX 5700 XT specs|
Read the PCGamesN AMD RX 5700 XT review for our full verdict and score.
The best mid-range graphics card is the AMD RX 5600 XT.
AMD’s doing the RX 5600 XT a disservice with its launch campaign. The ultimate graphics card for 1080p gaming? Nah, this 7nm GPU will keep you comfy in a little 1440p gaming too – and crucially for less than Nvidia’s RTX 2060. It offers a sublime mix of rasterised performance and affordable chops, and that brand new RDNA architecture on 7nm is paying off in the power department, too.
The mix-up in RX 5600 XT branding is likely in part due to its colossally confusing launch. An updated vBIOS moments prior sent the RX 5600 XT’s performance skyrocketing, and only a handful of AIBs appeared to get the memo. All you need to know is to make sure, whichever card you buy, that it’s capable of 1,750MHz boost clock and 14Gbps memory – from then on you’re sitting pretty at under $300.
What we like…
Beats RTX 2060 at DX12
Solid AIB designs
Decent 1440p performance
|AMD RX 5600 XT specs|
|GPU||Navi 10 XLE|
Read the PCGamesN AMD RX 5600 XT review for our full verdict and score.
The best mainstream graphics card is the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super.
The latest GTX Turing GPU has driven a wedge right between the GTX 1660 Ti and the standard GTX 1660, outperforming the latter and getting mighty close to the gaming pace of the former. And considering it’s some $50 cheaper that’s making it awful tough to recommend either of the other 1660 series cards.
That does also mean that we’re getting a card that costs significantly less than $250 and yet still delivers GTX 1070-level gaming performance, alongside all that Turing architectural goodness too. It’s a great-value GPU, and its existence is the main reason AMD’s RX 5500 XT isn’t on the list since the GTX 1660 Super performs better for only a small extra cost. And while the RX 5600 XT still takes the trophy for best mid-range graphics card, the lower cost of the GTX 1660 Super makes it a viable choice for those wanting to save a little extra cash.
What we like…
Matches GTX 1660 TI
Outperforms GTX 1660
All that Turing good stuff
|Nvidia GTX 1660 Super specs|
Read the PCGamesN Nvidia GTX 1660 Super review for our full verdict and score.
The best graphics card under $500 is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super.
The new RTX 2070 Super was born to beat AMD’s new Navi GPUs. With AMD targeting the old RTX 2070, Nvidia has created a new version, with the non-Founders Edition price, but with the RTX 2080’s own silicon. It’s a slightly cut-down version of the TU104 GPU, with 2,560 CUDA cores and higher clock speeds too.
And it’s quick, mighty quick. You’ll get impressive 4K gaming performance out of this card, which you would expect given the fact that it’s delivering frame rates that are generally ahead of Pascal’s best, the GTX 1080 Ti. Considering it’s shipping for $200 less than that classic old card, you can see just how strong an offering the new RTX 2070 Super is.
What we like…
GTX 1080 Ti performance
No Founders Ed. tax
Ray tracing skillz
|Nvidia RTX 2070 Super specs|
Read the PCGamesN Nvidia RTX 2070 Super review for our full verdict and score.
The best high-end graphics card is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super.
The RTX 2080’s days were numbered the instant Nvidia committed to releasing the Super version. This new card packs in the full TU104 GPU, giving it a little more raw silicon than the original card, but for the same price. The latest version delivers more gaming performance than the GTX 1080 Ti, with have more cores and faster memory, for even moar framez. Per second.
We’ve given this spot to the RTX 2080 Super rather than the RTX 2080 Ti because this GPU at least shows some semblance of understanding what a budget is – and if budget isn’t an issue at all and you want ‘top of the line’, you probably already knew you’d be going for the RTX 2080 Ti anyway.
The issue is that the RTX 2070 Super is such a good card from both a price and performance standpoint that it’s really hard to make the case for the RTX 2080 Super instead. What you can say, however, is that this GPU offers the highest ray tracing performance this side of $1,000…
What we like…
The best affordable ray tracing GPU
Serious 4K gaming performance
RTX Turing architecture
|Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super specs|
Read the PCGamesN Nvidia RTX 2080 Super review for our full verdict and score.
The best cheap graphics card is the AMD Radeon RX 570.
Originally the second-tier Polaris GPU, the RX 570 has got a lot of silicon for something that costs only a little over $100. And that means it delivers a hell of a lot of gaming performance for the amount you’re going to spend on it. It also makes Nvidia’s GTX 1050 Ti look utterly ridiculous, and actually now rather irrelevant.
There are affordable 8GB versions of the RX 570 available too, but spending any more than the price of the 4GB card means you’re getting into RX 580 territory, which itself is a great price now. And for 1080p gaming a 4GB RX 570 will deliver great performance at the highest quality settings. It’s a budget hero.
What we like…
Serious 1080p performance
Wider memory bus than 1050 Ti
|AMD Radeon RX 570 specs|
Read the PCGamesN AMD RX 570 4GB review for our full verdict and score.
The best graphics card for the tech-savvy is the AMD RX 5700.
Closely behind the 5700 XT, because of the XT’s price cut, is this straight RX 5700. It’s running the same Navi GPU as the XT card, but has been hobbled in terms of clock speed to ensure it remains behind its stronger sibling.
However, this card might be a better option than the 5700 XT if you’re happy with a little behind-the-scenes tweaking to overclock and undervolt your GPU. With your GPU unlocked and some carefully fiddling with the frequencies, the RX 5700 can reach the performance of the RX 5700 XT. Crackin’.
What we like…
Same Navi GPU as the XT
Often matches RTX 2060 Super
…and the RX 5700 XT
|AMD RX 5700 specs|
Read the PCGamesN AMD RX 5700 review for our full verdict and score.
how to install a graphics card
Here’s our handy video guide on how to plug a GPU in to your PC. PCGamesN also has a full guide on how to install your new graphics card.
Graphics card buying guide
Not everyone is lucky enough to be totally weapons free on budget when it comes to the most important component in a gaming PC: the graphics card. That’s why picking the best graphics card for your needs is so important – if you can’t afford an RTX 2080 Ti you still need to make sure your money is well-placed in hardware that is going to deliver the best performance for your given budget.
While the RTX 2080 Ti is the boss of 4K gaming, the GTX 1660 Super and RX 5600 XT are fighting it out for the all-important price/performance crown. Both offer fantastic frame rates even when the settings are cranked up to the max, and you won’t be left high and dry with either Nvidia or AMD in your system.
Looking a little further up the price range and the RTX 2070 Super is the performance king, but the Navi-powered RX 5700 XT runs it mighty close, even if it doesn’t have the same sort of AI or ray tracing chops.
The entry-level is almost entirely dominated by AMD, however. The RX 570 is now at such a great price that the GTX 1050 Ti looks incredibly tired by comparison. What it does have going for it is the ability to operate without PSU power connections, but the RX 570 hoses it in gaming terms. The RX 5500 XT 4GB has also stormed onto the scene if you can afford to stretch your budget a little further.
Graphics card price list
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